Blackouts to Bright Lights: Canadian War Bride Stories

Blackouts to Bright Lights

Canadian War Bride Stories

Edited by Barbara Ladouceur and Phyllis Spence


  • Spring 1995
  • ISBN 978-0-921870-33-3 (0-921870-33-7)
  • ebook ISBN 978-55380-081-1
  • 6″ x 9″ Trade Paperback, 300 pages
  • History, Women’s Studies

These Canadian war bride stories recount one of the great untold epics of World War II. Approximately 48,000 British and European women married Canadian servicemen during the war and made the adventurous crossing from “blackouts to bright lights.” In time for the 50th anniversary of the end of war, Barbara Ladouceur and Phyllis Spence interviewed over thirty war brides and recorded their individual stories.

The result is a moving oral history: these women from war-torn Britain tell of their early lives, their involvement in war-time duties, and the magical/funny moments when they met their Canadian husbands-to-be, in trams, at dances, and on duty. Equally compelling are the accounts of their journeys from Britain to Canada, leaving behind families to join a husband whom they sometimes did not recognize in civvies. The stories convey courage and humour: qualities that carried the brides through the difficult war years and that contribute to lively reading today.

Reviews & Awards:

“Shropshire to Whitehorse, London to Duncan, bombs to babies . . . what flexible and resourceful women!” —P.K. Page

Recommended by the BC Ministry of Education

Also by Barbara Ladouceur & Phyllis Spence: